Facial Vein Removal

San Francisco Facial Vein Removal | Dr. Seth L. Matarasso

Facial vein removal is a procedure that reduces the appearance of spider veins or broken blood vessels (capillaries) on the face. These veins are not dangerous, but they can be unattractive, causing a reddening of the facial skin.

Half of all people over the age of 50 develop facial spider veins. These red veins usually appear on the nose and cheeks, although bluish reticular veins may also appear under the eyes or the lower cheeks and jaw.

Spider veins on the face can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Sun exposure
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Steroid medications
  • Pregnancy

Spider veins on the face are harmless, but if you find them affecting your self-esteem, a board-certified dermatologist such as Dr. Seth Matarasso can help you reduce or eliminate this issue, along with suggesting proactive ways to improve your overall skin health. To learn more, contact our San Francisco office at 415-362-2238 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation.


Why Do People Get Spider Veins?

Several factors can cause veins on the nose and face, including the following:

  • Sun exposure: Damaging UV rays can enlarge veins and draw them closer to the surface of your skin.
  • Genetics: If people in your family have prominent facial veins, you’re more likely to develop them, too.
  • Steroid medications: Exposure to specific substances can damage the skin and make the veins appear more prominent.
  • Alcohol consumption: Frequent alcohol use can harm your circulatory system, causing spider veins to develop.
  • Rosacea: People with this common skin condition often develop broken capillaries, alongside the redness that characterizes rosacea.
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal fluctuations that take place during pregnancy may also cause broken blood vessels. Pregnancy-related spider veins usually disappear after giving birth.

Spider Vein Removal Techniques

We use two proven procedures for facial vein removal – the IPL and the Candela V-beam laser.

IPL: While the IPL uses highly targeted light, it is not technically a laser. Before your procedure, we apply a local anesthetic cream is applied to your skin, followed by a cooling gel. The rapidly pulsed light of the IPL instrument then treats the broken blood vessels. We can adjust the intensity of the IPL’s light can be adjusted for your comfort and for the level of treatment you need.

Laser treatment: We use the Candela V-beam laser, which, like the IPL, uses highly concentrated, gentle pulsed light to destroy the broken blood vessels. Because the light is so targeted, the surrounding skin remains intact.

Like sclerotherapy for leg spider veins, the IPL and laser light seals the veins, cutting off blood flow. The body then reabsorbs the veins, redirecting blood flow to healthier veins that don’t show through the surface of the skin.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Facial Vein Removal?

The ideal candidate for non-surgical vein removal treatment is a patient who is in good overall health, does not smoke, and has no preexisting blood diseases or bleeding problems. It is also essential for patients to go into this procedure with realistic expectations, which Dr. Matarasso can help define for you during your in-person consultation.

When performed under the care of a trained and certified dermatologist, IPL and laser vein removal are generally safe, low-risk treatments. However, rare side effects such as hyperpigmentation are possible, which is why it’s essential to be honest with Dr. Matarasso about your medical history before undergoing your procedure.

What to Expect Before, During and After Your Facial Vein Treatment

If you take aspirin or any prescription blood-thinning drugs or over-the-counter supplements, we ask that you refrain from using these for one week before and one week after your treatment, as they can increase your risk of bleeding and bruising.

Many of our patients describe the sensation of  facial vein removal as similar to the snap of a rubber band against the skin. No real downtime or recovery period is necessary. You can return to work and most normal activities right away.

Your skin may appear redder at first, but you can immediately apply makeup can be applied immediately to cover it. You may also experience some slight bruising and inflammation, or even scabbing in some cases. Many people feel something akin to a mild sunburn for a short time after the procedure.

If you are uncomfortable after your treatment, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication and/or use an ice pack. Within a few hours to a week, the redness and discomfort will begin to disappear, and your skin will look brighter and clearer with fewer spider veins.

Most people require at least three treatments and up to five treatments every four weeks. Your skin will be more vulnerable to the sun for a period of weeks after your treatment, so it is even more important to wear sunblock when outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Vein Removal

Q: Are the results of IPL and laser vein removal long-lasting?

A: Long-term success varies from patient to patient. Many of the vessels treated require only one or two treatments. Multiple treatments can provide you with the optimal results. New spider veins may develop over time, but the regular use of sunblock often prevents a recurrence of the condition.

Q: When can I expect to see results?

A: The results of facial spider vein removal are not immediate, because it takes time for your body to reabsorb the veins and divert the blood flow. After IPL and Candela V-beam laser therapy, the vessels underneath the skin will gradually change color, then disappear after two to six weeks.

Q: How long do the treatments take?

A: Treatment time varies, depending on the extent of your concerns.

Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: Many of our patients notice a significant improvement in as few as one to two sessions of IPL or laser vein removal. Some people develop new spider veins that require additional treatments.

Q: Can you remove spider veins for patients of all skin types?

A: We can customize a treatment plan to find the best approach for your skin type.

Q: Who is a good candidate for facial vein removal?

A: Dr. Matarasso does not recommend vein removal treatments for patients who are pregnant, diabetic, have an active skin infection in the treatment area, or have a family history of skin cancer or clotting disorders.

Q: Are there any activity restrictions after having facial vein removal?

A: Although we encourage you to resume normal activities almost immediately after treatment, we do ask that you refrain from strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours. We also recommend not drinking alcoholic beverages or smoking for two days before and two days after your treatment, because drinking alcohol thins the blood and smoking slows the circulation.

Q: What are the risks of excessive sun exposure after facial vein removal?

A: We suggest avoiding sun exposure as much as possible after your treatments, as your skin will be more sensitive to damage from UV rays. Before going outside, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to your face. If you have fairer skin, take further precautions by wearing a broad-brimmed hat. These steps will help avoid complications such as poor healing, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.

Q: How much does facial vein removal cost?

A: Various factors affect the price tag for facial vein removal treatments, including the method used and the number of sessions you will need. After evaluating you in person, Dr. Matarasso can give you a better idea of what you can expect to pay.

Q: Can I use my health insurance to help pay for my treatments?

A: Most health insurance providers consider facial spider vein treatments to be cosmetic, or not medically necessary. However, each insurance plan is different. The best way to be sure is to call your provider and ask what they cover.

Call Us Today for Your Facial Vein Removal Consultation

Facial vein removal is a non-surgical, non-invasive cosmetic procedure to clear the facial skin of unsightly spider veins. If you would like to learn more about facial vein removal in San Francisco, contact our office at (415) 362-2238. As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Seth Matarasso takes pride in his ability to provide cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures to his patients.